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Addiction Treatment in Western Pennsylvania 
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The Connection Between Substance Abuse and STIs

There’s no denying that alcohol and drug abuse can have harrowing effects on a person’s physical health. While many people think about the toll substance use disorders can take on a person’s body, there is another aspect of wellness that drug and alcohol addiction can severely affect: sexual wellness and safety.

In fact, there are many connections between substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections, and it’s important to understand the risks in order to get yourself the help you need to stay safe and healthy.

Sexually Transmitted Infections and Substance Abuse

When someone struggles with drug addiction, there are several behaviors that can lead to their becoming infected with an STI. Such behaviors may include:

Sharing Needles

Since many drugs can be taken intravenously, those struggling with addiction can find themselves reusing or even sharing needles. This has led to an increase in Hepatitis B & C and HIV/AIDS. In fact, each year injection drug use is the cause of 10% of new HIV cases; and a study by the CDC showed that 73% of those diagnosed with Hepatitis C reported using intravenous drugs.

Irresponsible Sexual Behavior

For a number of reasons, those who struggle with substance abuse often partake in more risky sexual behavior.

Used to Temporarily Improve Sexual Experiences

In some cases, certain drugs, such as Methamphetamines, amyl nitrates, or Mephedrone, can increase sexual stimulation leading more young adults to use them prior to sexual encounters. However, as time goes on, these drugs can decrease a person’s sexual function, leaving them with a dangerous addiction.

Leads to Unprotected Sex

When drugs or alcohol cloud a person’s judgment, they may have unprotected sex and run a higher risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection.

Drugs Used for Date Rape

Unfortunately, certain drugs, such as ecstasy and ketamine, are associated with date rape since they can impair a person’s state of mind. Aside from the illegality of these situations, they can present a much higher risk for the transfer of STIs.

At Silvermist Recovery Center, our programs will address the complexities of drug addiction, alcohol addiction as well as underlying trauma, PTSD, and co-occurring mental health challenges in young adults. If you or someone you love is in need of drug addiction treatment in Pennsylvania, call us today at

(724) 268-4858 for help. You are not alone in this, and our expert staff is available 24/7.

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